[Advaita-l] Svarita in RV and YV (was Re: SRI SUKTAM - Meaning)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Fri Feb 27 11:17:56 CST 2009

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 10:59 AM, Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra,
Water) <vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com> wrote:
> Indeed, the correct method is what a qualified guru has taught,
> but I don't think a comparison is meaningless. For one thing, it
> aids comprehension and for another, we need both the pot
> and the kettle, no matter whether each is black or white! To
> dismiss a comparison completely is like throwing out all grammar
> in favor of spoken language. It seems to me that grammar can
> be a very good aid in learning to refine one's language usage,
> but one should also learn the limits of the application of grammar.

I think there is a misunderstanding of my position - by a number of
people. The method of pronunciation and other rules are certainly
dictated by the grammar, but in the vedas they may or may not be
adhered to. They do adhere to them _most_ of the time. As Keith says
in his translation to the yajur veda, extremely gross grammatical
errors are also faithfully preserved by the pada-pATha. Surely there
were enough competent grammarians of great stature among the vedic
pundits to correct these. But no one corrected them and the same
uncorrected errors have been faithfully reproduced by pundits from
different geographical areas over a long time  - the reason is that is
what the mantra-draShTa saw, and the duty of the teacher is to only
faithfully reproduce that for his students and not question what the
draShTa saw. The mantra with "errors" has the inherent power, while
the "corrected" version will not. It's kind of a reverse situation
from the indra-Satru example - but these exceptions are known from
tradition only. And so it is with the SrI-sUktam or chanting mantras
in the navagraha-sUktam. It's certainly a good past-time to compare
some versions of recitation of some of the sUktams like the
SrI-sUktam, it's certainly a nicer of way of passing time than many
other ways, and I do that myself. But all I said was that going back
and trying to "correct" mantras based on some supposed ur-version does
not hold any water. Nor do R^ig veda versions have any more intrinsic
validity or "more genuine" than the yajur versions.

> To get back to Vishwam's original question, I don't think anyone
> says that the current method of recitation is "not correct". To begin
> with, there are many current methods of recitation, which are
> distributed geographically. Each is "correct" within its frame of
> reference. Rama was just pointing out that they are *different*
> from what is described in the taittirIya prAtiSAkhya text and its
> oldest available bhAshya. I stated that one can, to some extent,
> re-adjust our interpretation of what these texts say, which would
> fit current practice. Now, this may be an unnecessary retro-fitting
> (I fully realize that), but then, the rules described in the written
> prAtiSAkhya text do not override the practice of recitation.
> The traditionally approved practice (SishTAcAra) is a sure
> guide in case of doubt.

More on this later.


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